Friday, August 29, 2008

It Is So Much Fun To Be....

We started the morning with Daddy's homemade birthday pancakes with whipped cream on top!

Next, we are off for a weekend of sand, fun & sun to celebrate all of the blessings God has given us this 1st year.  It has been an incredible journey and we are so thankful for every minute of it!

Happy First Birthday Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet The Neighbors

As we mentioned before, we truly feel our neighbors are the reason that we found the home that we did. We thought we'd introduce just a few of them to you so you might see just how much fun it is to live on our street!

Miss Becky

Miss Becky will bend over backwards to help anyone who needs it. She made herself available to us from the moment she found out that we were having quads. She was the first to sign up to feed these little ones and came over in the wee hours of the morning to do so. Then, a few months later, she called me and said, "Mari, I think I can take care of all four of them by myself so you can get out of the house."  I thanked her kindly and declined the offer, but she insisted that I was to pick a day and she would come over for a few hours so I could have some time to myself.  It worked out wonderfully and she's been doing that for me every week since then. What a gift!

The Thoughtful Trio

Miss Vanessa, Miss Barbi, Miss Aimee - they coordinate the block parties, the fourth of july parties, the new years eve parties - these gals know how to celebrate life and motivate others to do so with them.  Last December, when they found out we didn't have a Christmas tree or any decorations up inside our home at the holidays (we were a bit overwhelmed with round the clock feeding with the four little ones), they brought over a tree with lights and ornaments.  On top of that,  they gave me the sweetest gift  - a necklace with all of the babies' names engraved on it and I cherish it so much!

The Laymon Family

Kate, Clark, Grant & Alyssa

The first time we formally met the entire Laymon family was last Halloween when the whole clan came to the door dressed for trick-or-treating.  Appropriately, Dad Laymon  was dressed as Batman and Momma Laymon as Wonder Woman (they are super hero parents of four as well).  A little while later, they found out through Miss Vanessa that FedEx had mis-delivered a shipment of our formula to another family and we couldn't get it back. So they surprised us and replaced the ENTIRE shipment through the help of their company.  On top of that, they have initiated their own version of Big Brother/Big Sister program and come over during the week to play with the kids, take them swimming, bring them books and toys - you name it. 

My Bible Study Babes

Miss Mari, Miss Vanessa, Miss Colleen, Miss Shannon, Miss Rebecca

My saving graces, my Thursday night treasures, my sweet friends.  These gals mean the world to me and come over every Thursday night without fail.  We laugh together, cry together and oh yeah, discuss God's Word as well!  Our current bible study is called Makeover: Revitalizing the Many Roles that You Fill by Jen Hatmaker and it's been a really fun one.  We're almost finished with this one and are searching for what to use next, so if any of you have a recommendation, let me know.

We haven't forgotten you, Cynthia & Jerry and Mr. Mark T. for the yummy meals you provided when the babies were little - we still dream about those!  And to Barbi & fam for always taking care of our first born, Jaz! We can't thank you enough!! She keeps asking to move in with you but I'm just not ready for her to leave the house yet. 

If you don't know your neighbors, I encourage you to get out there and meet them. God has some very special people surrounding you that He'd love to introduce you to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor

Four years ago, Chris and I had just moved from Galveston Island, Texas (where Chris had been completing his physical therapy masters degree at UTMB) back to Austin, Texas.  Austin was where we had always decided that we would settle. I couldn't be more thrilled to be back.  Chris was still finishing up his internships around different parts of Southeast Texas, but I set up our apartment and got a job so that we could begin to put down some roots.  Meanwhile, he came across a sports medicine clinic in Tomball, Texas.  He was so excited about this place and I had a feeling that the 6 month lease we took on the apartment in Austin was not going to be extended.  He eagerly accepted a job in Tomball and I was heartbroken.  But seeing him so happy about his career and the fact that the home prices were drastically lower in the Houston area, perked me up a bit that we might be able to be homeowners and the house hunt was on.  

Our Beautiful Rental Home In Historical Galveston

We did all of our house hunting online. We came across our home pretty quickly and I just new it was the one.  I loved that it was small, the paint colors were just our style, it was almost new construction and the neighborhood reminded me a lot of Austin with all of its trails and mature trees.  We saw only one house in person during our house hunt and it's the house we purchased. Pretty crazy, but we didn't need to look at any others, we just knew this was it.

Fast forward a few years to when we found out we were going to be raising a 1600 sq. ft. house?  Maybe this house wasn't ever supposed to be "the one" after all. But the thought of moving in the midst of this major life change was out of the question for me.  I just couldn't do it.  And praise the Lord we didn't!

Our neighbors are the sweetest, kindest, most fun people to have living nearby!  I truly believe that it's no mistake that our family of 6 is shoved in this little house because it wasn't ever about the walls around us, it was about our neighbors. To be continued...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Family Jewels

After many months of anticipation, the day has arrived.  Mari and I woke in a fog at 4:45am (normal wake time is 5:51am for me and 7:30am for Mari) to get ready and then woke up Cohen and Finn at 5:15am (normal wake time is 6:00am).  We downed a breakfast taco and grabbed a cup of coffee for the road down to Texas Children's Hospital while our loving neighbor, Becky, held down the fort with Noah and Sophia.  

Cohen: "You're gonna do what?!"
Finn: "No way man! You're not doing that to me!"

Cohen and Finn had their circumcisions scheduled this morning so the poor little guys couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight, but they hung in there like champs.  Noah already had his done during his final ostomy surgery.  Cohen also had a missing jewel that they weren't even sure existed.  I have to brag because these little dudes rocked!  Finn's surgery was first, and he too woke in a fog after anesthesia but got going quickly, sucked down a much needed bottle and started playing around.  We were pretty stressed about Cohen's treasure hunt, but God answered our prayers and found it way up in his abdomen.  Cohen was pretty groggy after surgery as well, but after a couple of Pedialytes and a full bottle he was back on track.   We finally got home at 12:30pm to eat lunch and then face the long stretch of the day where the babies are up from 2-6pm.

Momma helping Cohen feel right at home

Unfortunately, we had to wait this long because Memorial Hermann does not do inpatient/NICU circumcisions and by the time they were discharged, they were over a month old and would require anesthesia; most MDs prefer not to put an infant less than 1 year old under anesthesia.  For anyone with a baby boy in the NICU who wishes to have him circumcized, push harder than we did and look into outside sources who the hospital may allow to come in and perform the procedure.

Finn throwing back some juice in the recovery room

We are glad this is behind us though the recovery is still ahead - healing for the boys and sleep for us:)

Big thanks to Becky and the great staff at Texas Children's!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oh My Wordy Chris is 30!

It's hard to believe the big papa around our house is turning 30!  He insists on never acting his age - so it's always hard to tell just how old he really is. ;)  I'm fairly sure he's feeling past his prime with the back pain he's been having but that looks like it's going to be a thing of the past very soon. 

Happy Birthday, Love.  I look forward to celebrating many more decades to come!

3 Decades Ago... (Can't You See A Bit of Finn in That Baby Face?)

Chris & His Big Sister (aka "Auntie C")

Celebrating 30 Years!
Cursing 30 Years!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Butter Me Up

With the Texas summer ablaze and the babies down with another cold, we are left indoors to find new things to get into.  This has put us in a bit of a rut and are trying to break out of it.

One way to get 1000 calories

Causing some of the stress is Noah's weight gain issues.  He gains weight just very s-l-o-w-l-y. So, now Mari is measuring all his food and charting his daily caloric intake; his goal is 1000 calories per day!  So, every time he doesn't make his goal, we feel defeated.  Thankfully, he is tolerating everything we throw at him.

Sophia says, "Finn, get your own."

The boys really like to take out Sophia's hair clips so I figured they just wanted one. Funny thing, once they had one in their hair they didn't mess with hers.  Not a good solution, but something to brighten the spirits if only for a few minutes.

Sorry Boys, I was bored

We received a special package yesterday - the babies' 1st birthday present!  We plan to transition to a convertible car seat so they can face forward soon.  We searched high and low for a car seat that would fit in the Suburban and not take up the entire 3rd row.  Finally, we found the Sunshine Kids Radian car seats which are the narrowest on the market.  A wonderful company in Massachusetts, Magic Beans, was so awesome during the ordering process.  They have such cool toys and gifts for new babies.  They extended us a special multiples offer and since they are out of state we didn't have to pay any state tax...great savings all the way around. Thanks for your help with this, Sarah!  

Yea!  New Car Seats...and the Boxes Double as Toys

Also, it has been 11 months in the making but Mari got the gift she has been waiting for - "Mama-mama!"  What a sweet sound it is to hear that little word come out of that little mouth - it has never meant so much to hear that word.

P.S.    Drew, Sav, Ben & Ethan:   Happy 1st birthday!!!  And congrats to momma Suz and dada Joe on reaching the one-year mark so gracefully!